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A16 April 14, 2011

Orangeville Citizen/Free Press and Economist

Part 2 Theatre Orangeville and special needs teens: building rapport By CONSTANCE SCRAFIELD-DANBY Columnist

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There is a wonderful point in the movie, The King and I, when the British teacher, Anna, and the Siamese children she has come to instruct sing “Getting to Know You.” The song talks about the initial days of moving emotionally from being strangers to being people that know and, most importantly, like one another. So it must become for Chandra Mulder and her assistant, Colin Simmons, as they develop their relationships with the 10 teenaged boys who are participating in the new Theatre Arts Recreation Program (TARP) series. Briefly, the program was created, at the request of parents of teenagers with special needs, to include such teens in the youth programs that Theatre Orangeville sponsors. The programs introduce and further the abilities of young people in the wonderful world of theatre. With TARP., the theatre brings the young people who have heretofore been neglected into the world of entertaining. Ms. Mulder is eminently well qualified as program organiser and

instructor, with a long history of teaching special needs teens. She is vivacious and beautiful, always looking for the most positive approach to every moment, yet aware of the restrictions she must impose, many of which she would place on any young people. Last week was the first actual session in which she began to build up her relationships with her charges and to start to steer them in a direction that will result in their presenting a performance for their parents at the end of the eightweek series. It was clear that the series will be easy – and hard – for all of them. Luckily, where attention spans might be short or quite susceptible to distractions, Ms. Mulder’s approach is deeply enthusiastic and energetic – she gives them little time to think about anything else. It is an approach that seems to work. They started the evening with warm-ups, with dancing and songs. “I’m building on an Elizabethan chant,” she said later. At the end of the warmups, she told them that they would be doing a performance for their parents at the end of the eight weeks and they cheered excitedly. In order to

achieve that lofty goal, they needed to understand some of the mechanics of the process. Their next exercise was for each of them to offer a tiny monologue based on a choice of hats that might suggest a character, which they would each impersonate. Before they began, she told them, “No matter what you do on the stage, I think you’re brilliant. In the theatre, there is no right or wrong – the director is just there to make you clearer to the audience.” She went first and putting on a floppy straw hat, gave them a silly and fun monologue about a country girl who talked very quickly about her ducks. Mr. Simmons also portrayed a goofy character with one of the hats to show that the spontaneous one-minute pantomime was meant to be innocent and funny, for Ms. Mulder did have rules about the characters and their monologues: “There can be no violence,” were her instructions, “no guns, knives, punching.” In a world where every entertainment (movies and, especially, video games) is full of violence, this was, perhaps, harder to obey than one might imagine. Two boys compromised by not pan-

Thanks for your response We have been overwhelmed by the number of job applications we’ve received in such a short time concerning the proposed Melancthon Quarry. We welcome and appreciate your response. The economic benefits associated with the proposed quarry will be a positive force for the community.These benefits are anticipated to include up to 465 full-time jobs and about $140 million in ongoing annual spending on goods and services. Given the Company’s “hire locally first” policy, it is anticipated that many of these hiring and purchasing needs will be met within Melancthon Township, the Town of Shelburne, and elsewhere in Dufferin County. We’ve been asked whether people should even submit applications if they don’t possess the skills required by positions associated with the proposed quarry. Yes, they should submit their applications! We are working on a program that will provide local job applicants with skills training and upgrading as the quarry application moves forward.This will ensure that these individuals have every opportunity to be considered for employment should the quarry application and other approvals be granted. While the application process is now underway, it is impossible to predict its outcome. In the meantime, applicants and companies are invited to mail resumes or corporate information to:

tomiming shooting one another but teaming up with each other to fight an imagined enemy. One boy worked with his helper. He spoke to her and then she told the others until, in the middle, he took over and did the rest of his dialogue on his own. Others offered a variety of characters, all quite comic, trying to follow the examples set by Ms. Mulder and Mr. Simmons. After each presentation there was applause and cheering, high reward for first-time efforts. Each boy used his imagination, thinking quickly and dealing with varying degrees of nervousness from speaking in front of others. As they went on, with this and other exercises through the two-hour ses-

sion, Ms. Mulder might interrupt, first with praise and then with suggestions as to how the portrayal could be clearer, more obvious. With skilled diplomacy, she sometimes endeavoured to shift their focus from one direction to a more positive one. It was the beginning of their learning relationship with her, that delicate time of discovery when minds meet, with all their preconceptions and the struggle they will produce. By the end of the evening, they had all learned something; they had started on a road together that will be interesting and, maybe, to some extent, life changing for some of them. For sure, they all will be better for the experience.

Family doctors fundraising for Headwaters Twelve weeks into their training for the Mississauga Marathon, doctors Stephen and Stephanie Milone are still smiling and injury-free! Since Orangeville based family physicians Stephen and Stephanie Milone announced in January they would train to run the half marathon distance (21.1 km) at the Mississauga Marathon on May 15, 2011, they’ve been sticking to their 5 days a week training schedule despite the pressures of being busy working parents. “We knew we had to ‘walk the talk’,” said Stephen Milone. “We’re always reminding patients of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. By training for this run, we’re hoping to show people it’s possible, despite the pressures of children, jobs and social commitments, to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives.” “It has absolutely required some creative scheduling,” Stephanie added. “We have everything on a colour-coded calendar. But it certainly helps to have a spouse who is also motivated and committed to the same goals.” As an added incentive to stick to their training plan, the Milones have incorporated a fundraising component for Headwaters Health Care Foundation. To date the couple has raised $2,290 to help fund medical equipment for Headwaters. “Most people

don’t realize the government just doesn’t fund hospital equipment,” explained Stephen. “If we want to make sure everyone who comes to the hospital receives the best medical care using the latest equipment, it’s up to all of us to make a contribution.” The Milones have inspired others to participate in the event. “Already, one doctor, seven nurses, six patients and four other family members have committed to run various distances at the Mississauga Marathon,” Stephanie said. “It’s also great to see how involved our children are getting in it. They will ask how far we’re running, ask us if we’re doing hills or flats, and give us high fives when we’re done. Our eldest son is a budding tri-athlete, having signed up for several Kids of Steel Triathlons this summer!” There is still time to get involved; choose an appropriate distance suited to your physical abilities. Options include 5 km distances to full marathon runs, as well as relay teams. You can also make a donation in support of the Milones by clicking on “Milone Half Marathon” under the Foundation heading on www. headwatershealth.ca. By making a donation to support the Milones in their goal, you’ll also help support excellent health care in our community.

Museum curator Townsend to speak at Mill St. library Wayne Townsend, curator of the Dufferin County Museum and Archives will be at the Mill Street Branch of the Orangeville Public Library on Thursday, April 28, at 3 p.m. to present a special program to complement the 2011 One Book One County selected title Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. “Touching briefly on native history in the area, Wayne will focus on the history of veterans in

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Dufferin County which has been painstakingly researched, recorded, and preserved by the museum as a testimony to the sacrifices made by those veterans who called Dufferin home,” the library said in a press release. “Wayne will share enthusiasm, captivating stories, and a wealth of knowledge during this free, entertaining, informational, and educational program for adults.” This One Book One County program was also presented at the Grand Valley Public Library on Tuesday, and will be at the Shelburne Public Library Thursday, April 21. A selection of native artifacts is going to the three libraries, arriving in Orangeville on April 28, and will be on display there for the month of May. Everyone is welcome to attend and refreshments will be provided.

Dan Durocher Sales Professional

The Highland Companies Employment and Economic Opportunities P.O. Box 1182 Shelburne, Ontario L0N 1S0

It’s been a sure delight for the past 9 years working at the #1 Dealership in Orangeville. I have taken great pride in serving all my customers and hope to do that for years to come. Without you I wouldn’t be able to have the success that I have enjoyed! Yours truly, Dan Durocher

Hwy 9 East, Orangeville 519-941-1360 www.macmasterpontiac.com


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